Toyota's autonomous driving (2): Striving for "trillion-mile reliability"

Driving Intelligence, Interactive Intelligence, and Connected Intelligence



  The Automotive World 2017 conference was held from January 18 to 20 2017 at Tokyo Big Sight. This report will focus on a lecture given by Yoshiaki Matsuo, chief examiner of the Advanced Safety System Research and Development Division at Toyota Motor Corporation, titled, "Toyota's Direction of Automatic Driving and Future Issues - Cooperation between Intelligent Vehicles and People, and the Realization of a Mobility Society." It will also examine Toyota's efforts for autonomous driving and future challenges.

  The previous looked at Toyota's long-term direction for autonomous driving (developing both a more sophisticated ADAS and a fully autonomous driving system). This report will focus on specific plans and items currently under consideration pertaining to the three types of intelligence required for autonomous driving: driving intelligence, interactive intelligence and connected intelligence.

  The Toyota Research Institute (TRI), which will handle core development for driving intelligence, established its third U.S. facility in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and will utilize the University of Michigan's drive testing facility "Mcity" as it conducts its research. TRI is also developing a greatly improved simulator. According to Gill Pratt, CEO of TRI, globally Toyota vehicles drive 1 trillion miles annually (assuming 100 million Toyota vehicles drive an average of 10,000 miles each year). In order to realize fully autonomous driving, TRI needs to conduct 1 trillion miles worth of driving tests. However, as this will be difficult to realize, simulations are one effective method of testing. By combining real driving tests with simulations of extremely difficult conditions, TRI will attempt to achieve the same level of reliability as if it had conducted 1 trillion miles worth of tests, which in itself will be a difficult task to accomplish.

  With regards to interactive intelligence between drivers and vehicles, Toyota will conduct tests with its driving simulator at the company's Higashifuji Technical Center while also developing an HMI for autonomous driving.

  As for connected intelligence, Toyota will establish a framework where autonomous vehicles connect to a cloud server and exchange traffic information. Additionally, in situations where on-board systems alone would have difficulty controlling the vehicle like at intersections with poor visibility, Toyota vehicles will utilize a cooperative safety system that uses communication technology.

Related reports:
Toyota's autonomous driving (1): More sophisticated ADAS and fully autonomous driving (February 2017)
Toyota's ADAS technology: Autonomous Vehicle and ADAS Japan 2016 (1) (August 2016)
Toyota accelerates efforts for "connected car technology" (April 2016)

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